3 May 2016

THE TAXIDERMIST'S DAUGHTER.


THE TAXIDERMIST'S DAUGHTER by KATE MOSSE.

BACK COVER BLURB: The clock strikes twelve. Beneath the wind and the remorseless tolling of the bell, no one can hear the scream . . .

1912. A Sussex churchyard. Villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will not survive the coming year are thought to walk. And in the shadows, a woman lies dead.

As the flood waters rise, Connie Gifford is marooned in a decaying house with her increasingly tormented father. He drinks to escape the past, but an accident has robbed her of her most significant childhood memories. Until the disturbance at the church awakens fragments of those vanished years . 

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue: April 1912 ~ The Church of St Peter & St Mary, Fishbourne Marshes, Sussex, Wednesday 24th April}: Midnight.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 263}: The boy froze. He spent most of his time outdoors, listening to the strange sounds of the marshes, the calls of the owl and the fox, the way in which ordinary noises distorted at dusk, at night, at dawn into mysterious and threatening things. But this was something different.

SOURCE: A book swap.

MY THOUGHTS: Atmospheric? 

Without a doubt and yet despite its misty marshes, abundant magpies, oh, and an asylum for the insane, largely lacking in what I considered the Gothic.

Overly gruesome?

Peppered throughout with the macabre, with sentences such as that below I personally found the novel overly gruesome at times.

'Now, to his horror, he realised it was not his injuries stopping his eyes from opening, but that his eyelids were sewn shut.' - Page 211.

Intricate?

Hmm! With elements of folklore and 'beast fable', themes of blackmail and murder, to say nothing of the terrible secret kept by the protagonist's father there was plenty here that should have grabbed my attention. But sadly, despite my expectations, like all of the other Kate Mosse novels I have read, The Taxidermist's Daughter with all of its various twists and turns however predictable also failed to come to fruition. 

The characters?

Connie aside, all rather hum-drum I'm afraid. Largely two dimensional, The jumping around between place and event doing little to commit any of them to memory.

Generally very well received, perhaps its just me but alas I feel that I'm missing something. That there is something about this book that I'm just not getting.

Read for the 'What's In A Name? 2016': A book with a profession in its title' category.


15 comments:

Gina R said...

Oh dear. I had much higher hopes for this as well with that cover and synopsis. Sounds like the experience was rather dreary for you my friend. Better luck next read...

Barbara Fisher said...

Oh what a shame, it sounds as though it should have everything going for it, but obviously not. The bit about eyelids sewn shut made me shudder! Think I will give this a miss.

Natasha Hill said...

I loved the lines you shared from this Tracy. It's a shame there wasn't more to it as you mentioned in your review, especially as looking at the cover, you'd expect it to be brimming with Gothic elements. I'll have to keep an eye out for this one too. - Tasha

Kelly said...

The blurb sure grabbed me right off the bat and even your gruesome excerpt sounds interesting, but... I'm not sure given some of your other thoughts. I still may have to keep an eye out for it. Seems like I have another book by this author sitting somewhere on my shelf. Perhaps I should start there.

Suko said...

Tracy,a s always I appreciate your honesty. It doesn't sound like my kind of book, either.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Sorry this story didn't really live up to your expectations.

I'm not too sure that this book represents a genre I am really that bothered about reading, or I think I would probably already have it on my TBR list. Reviews and ratings in general have been quite mixed and with its Gothic undertones, I'll probably give this one a miss but thanks for sharing and for being so honest with your thoughts :)

Yvonne

Shooting Stars Mag said...

It doesn't sound like this is the author for you, I'm afraid! Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts though.

Tracy Terry said...

Each and every one of us to our own, I know lots of people who love both this author and her books. For myself ....

I think you, Shooting Stars Mag, have hit the nail on the head. Having read this book along with several others by this author I think I can safely conclude her style of writing isn't for me.

Brian Joseph said...

It is too bad that this books was not so good for you. As you mention the plot elements involving folklore, marshes mythical characters and twists sound so interesting. I suppose that such things cannot make up for poor writing.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

This one does sound creepy. I don't mind the dark so I may enjoy it more than you did. That sewn eye thing... *shivers*. Yea, I can totally see that. One common fear is not being dead but mistaken for it. O.o

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Sorry you didn't like this one more. The cover is eye-catching and the blurb is interesting. I did like how you broke your review into different parts. Very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

kimbacaffeinate said...

Oh wow this is dark and gruesome, and yet I am oddly curious..LOL

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

Sorry to hear you didn't fully enjoy this one, Tracy. I like the memorable passage you shared. This sounds like one of the Literature books I read for my Gothics course. Reminds me of Wilkie Collins's works. I quite like this. I'll go check it out!

So many books, so little time said...

I have this on my tbr, I went to a Waterstones launch where she read a piece of it out which actually swayed me to buy it. I have heard very mixed reviews on it though, be interesting to see which side I fall to :D Thanks for sharing

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

Interesting - from your summary it sounds awesome, and very Gothic, but I know that feeling of something lacking :/ My only experience of Mosse is a few chapters of one of her earlier books. Not much of it, but it sounded more than I found it to be; I was happy enough to put it down.

I'd give this one a go as I think knowing your thoughts I might enjoy it more for the lower expectations. A rather different WIAN pick, I like it :)